Royal Marine Commandos have been practicing moving around an Arctic battlefield in deep snow and ice.
It's part of their winter deployment where Royal Marines of Arbroath-based 45 Commando complete their mobility phases of the Cold Weather Warfare Course in northern Norway.
Commandos have to know how to get into battle and move around during combat in temperatures as low as -30°C in the Arctic.
The Green Berets will also carry weights of up to 75lbs and pull pulks (sleds) weighing up to 40lb through the snow on skis or snow shoes.
Captain Marcus Winter, Royal Marines, said:
“The restricted terrain and challenging weather of northern Norway makes the ability to manoeuvre faster, further and through areas our potential adversaries cannot, of vital importance to commando forces.
“Vehicles and helicopters are superb assets in the Arctic but the combination of weather, mechanical breakdown and enemy action require the individual commando to be able to ski and snowshoe with their ‘house on their back’.
“As we move towards a Future Commando Force construct, as commandos it is vital we can be self-reliant in the field," Captain Winter added.
At the driving area, at the base in Bardufoss, in their Viking All Terrain Vehicles the drivers were put through their paces, adapting to the hazards of driving across ice and snow.
The Armoured Support Group will now support 45 Commando and fellow Royal Marines units of 3 Commando Brigade on the next phases of the exercises in Norway and into multinational war game, Exercise Cold Response, next month and into March.
The coxswains are testing their ability to work in the extreme cold ahead of raiding missions alongside 45 Commando as well as their own work on Exercise Cold Response, during which they will be launching from the Cold Response task group’s ship and attacking the coastlines.
They are also working closely with the Norwegians while in the region.
“47 Commando have deployed their Raiding Squadron to the Arctic Circle for 3 Commando Brigade’s Winter Deployment,” said Captain Jack Denniss.
“Royal Marines are well versed in being cold, but in the Arctic fjords of northern Norway determination alone is not enough to overcome the extreme temperatures.
“For the coxswains of 47 Commando’s Offshore Raiding Craft (ORC), the sub-zero temperatures are multiplied by the winds experienced at 30 knots.”
Cover image: Royal Marine conducting ice breaking drills while on their Cold Weather Survival Course (Picture: Royal Navy).